Plant-based diets have become more and more popular these past couple of years. Science also proves that adopting a plant-based diet and limit consumption of animal products leads to better health. And eating vegan or vegetarian in no way means meals need to be redundant or boring. You just have to know how to prepare them.
This meal is packed with protein (6g per 1/4 cup quinoa and 11 g per cup of chickpeas). This recipe makes a total of about 1 cup of quinoa and a 1 and 1/4 cup of chickpeas (approximately one can), that’s about 38g of protein right there! BAM!
However, eating 1 cup of chickpeas as is seems like a lot of food, and frankly, kind of boring. So, what if we put them in the form of nuggets? 🙂
Here’s how I made this:
For the quinoa:
1- Cook the quinoa like you would rice (2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa). I used half a cup of quinoa and 1 cup of water.
Bring water to a boil on high heat, add quinoa, then bring down the heat to a medium-low until done (about 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender but still chewy and white threads appear around each grain). The brand I used is Nature’s intent: Organic Andean Gold Quinoa;
2- Put cooked quinoa in a large enough bowl to allow it to cool. Let cool for 15-20 minutes;
3- While your quinoa is cooling down, chop up your veggies (I added full tbs of parsley leaves, 2 medium-sized tomatoes, and 2 Lebanese cucumbers);
4- Add the chopped vegetables to your quinoa after it’s done the cooking and has cooled;
5-Add your dressing: 1-2 cloves of garlic (minced), 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, some salt to taste. Mix all ingredients until well combined.
For the nuggets:
1- Rinse your chickpeas (1 can);
2- In a large bowl, mash your chickpeas with a fork or another masher tool. It doesn’t have to be perfectly mashed and if there’s still pieces of un-mashed chickpea, it’s totally okay. You can use your hands too;
I initially didn’t add any spices to the chickpeas, considering the quinoa salad was seasoned. Looking back, I would’ve added garlic powder, onion powder, and some paprika to taste.
3- Make little nugget shaped with your mashed chickpeas. Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes (10 mins each side);
This dish doesn’t taste as good when kept as leftovers, to be honest, but that’s just me. It’s very tasty when fresh, though.
– M ❤